Coloring the Void

living nomadically

Seward

The drive to Seward, Alaska, like the drives all over the state, is sublime. An incredible view follows an amazing view and, if one stopped for each jaw dropping scene, one would never get to Seward.

Seward Highway

The beautiful Seward Highway

There is one spot on the road where construction seems to be on going, but we didn’t have to wait too long.

traffic

The man had a parrot in his car. The bird must not have been happy with the traffic – he let it out to jump around.

When we pulled into town, we went right to the south end of Waterfront Park. There is one section of dry camping with not only a beautiful view, but a limited number of campsites (10) ensuring slightly smaller crowds than the huge main campground. We scored a site right on the water in the Iditarod Section – close to downtown and the Sealife Center.

Seward View

The view from my chair

There are a ton of free things to do in Seward like watching the birds:

seagulls

Seagulls chasing fish.

watching the otters:

otters

Otters doing what otters do.

Otters

Otters

driving around to Lowell Point and hiking to Cain’s Head:

road

The road to Lowell Point

Seward

Seward viewed from the road to Lowell Point

driving around Nash Road to view Seward from the other side:

Seward view

Seward across Resurrection Bay from the end of Nash Road

and checking out the old boats or the state max security prison.

ship

Large wooden dry docked ship

boat

Another large wooden boat in dry dock. Maybe someday she will sail again

Or going to Exit Glacier:

Exit Glacier

Exit Glacier

Or one can just wander up and down the waterfront, the small boat harbor, or downtown and enjoy a beautiful day. We did them all. Seward is a beautiful town, small and compact so it can easily be ‘done’ in a day. But a lot of the fun of Seward is in the not free stuff. We took a tour of the Sea Life Center (paid for with Exxon Valdez Money) and liked it – make sure to visit the bird room. And we took a dinner cruise to Fox Island through Kenai Fjord Tours – if we ever come back without an RV, Fox Island will be our first stop.

While we didn’t do a longer tour into Kenai Fjords National Park (we won’t leave our dog for more than five hours), we can highly recommend doing the nine hour Northwestern Fjord Tour through Kenai Fjord Tours. We did that tour several years ago and, while I don’t know if they still use the smaller (20 pax) boat, I do know that it is worth every penny. Between the glaciers and the wildlife, I was so exhausted by the end that I slept for the return trip into the harbor.

There is also fishing for salmon and halibut and we thought seriously about taking one – I love halibut. But, we have a freezer that will hold maybe ten lbs. of stuff. And it isn’t empty. If you have room to store the potential forty or more lbs. of fish, going fishing can be a great deal. For us, it would make the halibut cost about $50/lb. While the experience would be wonderful, there are many other excursions and trips we would prefer to blow our budget on.

Most of our time in Seward was spent just relaxing and watching the tide go in and out from our waterfront campsite. We got to see eagles, sea otters, sea lions, and even a whale without moving from our chairs. And while it took forever, the sunsets were worth the wait.

Sunset

Sunset from our chairs

We never woke up in time for the sunrises.

For those interested, there are plenty of over-nighting places in and around Seward. We found them on Nash Road (which also has a city campground) and on Exit Glacier Road. In both places, the views were spectacular.

View

View at pull off on Exit Glacier Road.

We completely fell in love with Seward. It is the perfect size town with plenty to do and everything one could need for every day living (we spent over an hour in the hardware store, which had everything imaginable and more). And, of all the towns we visited so far, Seward has the best boating experiences possible. It would take months just to explore the Kenai Fjords National Park by boat. We will definitely return to Seward, hopefully next time with a boat.

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3 thoughts on “Seward

  1. We spent a couple of days in Seward in 2010 and enjoyed it very much. We checked out the waterfront campground then and thought that it would be a great place to be if one can snag a waterfront site. I so wanted to do the small boat tour into Kenai Fjords, but as luck would have it, we missed it by just a few days. But our Aialik Glacier/Fox Island Tour turned out to be wonderful and the glacier calved continuously for about 20 minutes for us. If you like murals, there are a whole lot of them all around town … it’s fun to go searching for them.

  2. I am so looking forward to our visit to Seward and am really hoping for a beautiful day for the drive there. Your photos are beautiful. You have given us some good options to consider for places to camp. Of course, waterfront sites are always appealing, especially if you get to watch sea otters. They are just too cute. We do want to take a boat tour of Kenai Fjords National Park, so I will look to see if the small boat is still an option. I took a tour when I was in Alaska many years ago, and it was rainy and foggy for the entire ride. Thank goodness for Dramamine! Hopefully, we can go on a prettier day.

    • Rainy and foggy isn’t fun when it’s for days on end! We had that in Valdez before we threw in the towel – I hope your trip that way is better! Looking forward to your view/write up – you all pack so much in it is like seeing the place with clearer, focused eyes.

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